Saturday, June 6, 2009

Situational Drinkin... What does it mean for the Alky?

Thanks for relating your honest experience with booze Confused Potential Alcoholic.

As far as situational drinking goes, I think this speaks to the fact that alcohol has a power over just about anybody when it comes to its mind-altering effects. When we drink it, we get a buzz and many of us like it, whether we're a social drinker, a moderate drinker, a hard-drinker or potential alcoholic, or a real alcoholic of the hopeless variety.

I feel for you with your divorce/family situation. I hope you get through this period as well as your children without any suffering. Pain is inevidable and it can ultimately help us grow. But suffering is optional. You need not suffer through this. There is help for you on many levels and I hope you find it.

Now the booze; for the hard drinker or alcoholic, the situation or outer circumstances do not matter. An alcoholic can seemingly build his/her life up just to pull it right back down on himself, then it becomes really easy to drink.

Now I'd like to talk about the hard drinker and the alcoholic. Either one can die prematurely, suffer alcoholic torcher, harm people and perhaps kill themselves or others due to their drinking.

But one very important thing separates the hard drinker from the real alcoholic. Given a sufficient reason to either quit, or moderate their drinking, the hard drinker can. They can choose. They can put the plug in the jug. They can "just not drink, no matter what", they can go to 90 meetings in 90 days and stay sober, or they can perhaps do some other therapy and stay sober.

Now the real alcoholic has two components that make it virtually impossible to do what the hard drinker can; stop on a non-spiritual basis. This is pretty much the absolute truth as I believe it, understand it, experience it, etc. The alcoholic has BOTH.

The physical craving or the physical allergy that develops in the pancreas once they ingest ETHO or ethyl alcohol which creates a craving for more of the same, AND...
the "mental blankspot" just prior to the "first drink" or the "mental obsession" which tells them that they can drink normally and be able to control and enjoy their drinking without undergoing the craving once they start.

So, from the way I understand it, you can't just have one or the other and be an alcoholic. It's got to be both... simultaneously. And this condition only happens in about 10% of us. And once both develops, it never ever ever goes away.So, no matter what, the alcoholic can never ever defeat the physical portion of this abnormality. They can only treat the "mental obsession" and the A.A. program offers a spiritual treatment to keep that "Great Obsession" from ever taking a hold again.

The hard drinker, on the other hand, has perhaps one or the other of these very symptoms here, but never both simultaneously. So given a sufficient reason to stop or moderate, they can. I don't understand which one though. Can they either stop or moderate? Surely they can stop, but can they moderate, and drink with control again? I don't know, honestly.

It don't matter for me, because I'm not one of them. I've got both.How do I know? I'll tell you why. Because I was given the dignity, and the gift of discovery (as my buddy Danny puts it), to find out for myself. And I offer you that gift too. For anybody who wants to know for themselves... if they are alcoholic or not, get that book Alcoholics Anonymous, and read from beginning of the book to the end of the chapter 3, More about Alcoholism, or page 43 on the new editions.I've come to find out that I should not like to "diagnose" someone else as alcoholic or not, ever. I can become convinced for myself whether I think they are alky or not, but that does THEM no good. A close loved one can't even diagnose their afflicted to be alky or not. Only I know for a fact, the fine line between having those two symptoms operating simultaneously in me or not.

That's the only recommendation I have, is get that 7.00 book and read... to page 43. Meetings aren't gonna tell you the truth, nor will the www or the treatment centers, doctors, shrinks, or clergy members. So dignity and discovery.

Go well.
__________________So does God direct us, or suggest us?

So then they come back at me with;

"Have you read page 44?"

Quote = McGowdog:
So, from the way I understand it, you can't just have one or the other and be an alcoholic. It's got to be both... simultaneously.

Then I come back with;

"Page 44 is wrong! Only mistake in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.If it was either or, the alky would just not drink. Or if it was the other or, they'd just drink 2 and stop. Trip on that little tidbit.Next comment? "

Then in some other post about real alkies versus non-alkies and 12 stepping and pitching new potential drunks... after reading through Danny Boy's blog and applying my own ESH, I come upon a clear revelation... for me! You all may have know this all along, but would you recovered alkies agree with my next statement?


"There are two things to accomplish here with the new prospect to A.A.

So I think there's some confusion here that needs to be addressed; It's based on a question that I had based on a misunderstanding and it comes back to me from time to time.

We recovered alcoholics are armed with the facts of what it is to be an alcoholic and can sit down with a new prospect to help pitch them into A.A. if we're convinced they are a potential alky or not.

Then once they're in, they need to do these steps. We can't force the 1st step on them and we can't force God on them either. This is where the book and their own experience and their own decision to read and find out for themselves comes.

So I see two distinct goals here; pitching new drunks and taking them or guiding them through the steps.

We can't go to the newcomer and hand them a 1st Step or Real Alcoholic badge and say, "Now go seek God! Go get Em, boy!" "

So, what's my actual experience in this? What I've posted here is what I've learned reading Danny's blog which talks about this stuff in some detail. In my group, the newcomer is fairly quickly rushed into the 4th Step. Then they are hurried along to 5th step it and get those freaking amends done.

But from what I'm seeing from Danny, this may be a mistake. Maybe do more like the book says. Let them go through to page 43 before they rush into 2, 3, 4, etc. So how long should does this take? I doubt Dr Bob spent much time on it. But Dr Bob is Dr Bob. How long did it take Danny to read to page 43, then come out of that with a fire to seek God? He did all 12 in 44 days, right? Does the new prospect read this on his/her own or does their "sponsor spoon-feed the book to them line by line, pontificating as they go along?

I don't mean to sound cynical in this. I really don't. I'm just not all up and gung ho on this whole "sponsor" thing. I don't need a sponsor. A new guy maybe. I'm just used to having a strong group, taking responsibility and doing steps... and hearing, "Are you finished with 4 yet? Are you finished with all your amends yet? Get it done! Quit fucking around!"

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